Trump Will ‘Make A Decision When He’s Ready’ On Manafort Pardon, Sarah Huckabee Sanders Says
Paul Manafort, the former campaign manager for President Donald Trump who was recently sentenced to just under four years in prison for tax-related crimes, may or may not receive a pardon from the commander-in-chief.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, delivering her first press briefing in six weeks, gave an ambiguous answer as to whether Trump was going to pardon Manafort in the future, CNBC reported on Monday.
After reporters questioned whether Trump was thinking about the pardon, Sanders responded by saying, “The president has made his position on that clear and he’ll make a decision when he’s ready.”
— CBS News (@CBSNews) March 11, 2019
Although it doesn’t clear anything up on the matter, the answer that Sanders gave certainly provides us with knowledge about one thing: Trump is at least considering it.
It’s possible that Trump isn’t planning on giving a pardon at all to the former head of his presidential campaign. Many suggest that doing so could produce more problems for the president, including the possibility of Trump’s own impeachment if he does so, over charges of misuse of the executive branch power.
It’s also possible that Trump intends to give Manafort’s pardoning further consideration, waiting it out until a second trial is completed, involving separate criminal actions the former campaign manager is alleged to have performed. Those actions include lobbying on behalf of foreign nations without properly disclosing it, obstructing justice in a criminal investigation, and other charges, the Daily Beast previously reported.
Trump has previously made comments that made it seem like he might be inclined to help out his former campaign manager. In a tweet he composed back in August, Trump made clear he had a higher level of respect for Manafort than he did for his former lawyer Michael Cohen.
I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 22, 2018
“I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family,” Trump wrote in that tweet. The Justice Department “took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break.'”
Trump also suggested that he believed Cohen tried to “make up stories in order to get a ‘deal.'” Manafort, meanwhile, deserved “respect” and was a “brave man” for not doing so, he added at the time.
Manafort would go onto making a deal with special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigators, but after pleading guilty to some crimes the deal was later rescinded after it was discovered he had been lying to them. Manafort also continued to make contact with Trump’s lawyers after the deal was brokered, violating provisions of the agreement, the New York Times reported in late November of last year.